Happy Monday, Madison!

ICYMI: Summer is finally over.

With the changing of the seasons — and the impending snow — comes new parking rules. The city’s alternate side parking restrictions begin at 1 a.m. tomorrow.

What are the rules? During the hours of 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., vehicles should be parked on the even-house-numbered side of the street on even-numbered dates, and conversely, park on the odd-house-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered dates.

The exception: The alternate side rules are only enforced in the Snow Emergency Zone during Declared Snow Emergencies. Most of the downtown isthmus is in this zone.

Alternate side parking lasts through March 15, 2023.

If you're like me and often forget what day it is — let alone know if it's an even- or odd-numbered date — you can sign up for nightly text reminders from the city. They'll send you a message every evening telling you which side of the street to park on. Neat!

— Hayley

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Photo by Hayley Sperling

🔥 Get ready for higher energy bills.

  • Madison Gas and Electric and electric customers will see a nearly 9% rate hike in upcoming bills, or roughly $8.20 more per month.
  • Why? The rate increase is due to the rising costs of fuel and MGE's plans to buy part of Alliant Energy’s new natural gas plant in Beloit. The Public Service Commission approved the plan last week, according to Channel3000.

📞 Here's why Sennett Middle School's principal was fired.

  • Some context: Former Sennett Middle School Principal Dr. Jeffery Copeland was fired in September after only a month on the job.
  • What happened? Copeland was fired over comments he made on a job applicant’s voicemail. According to Cap Times reporting, Copeland called a job applicant and seemingly forgot to hang up after leaving a message. You can listen to the whole voicemail here.
  • The voicemail recorded Copeland saying the applicant “could barely communicate with me,” (seemingly in reference to the person's English skills) and also said, “they’re just giving people damn jobs.”
  • Copeland filed a grievance over his termination in October, according to the State Journal.

✅ The UW System's free speech survey is going out to students today.

  • If you'll recall: Back in April, the UW System announced it would survey students across its 13 campuses on their feelings about free speech. The survey, which is privately funded, immediately created controversy and drew backlash from students and campus leaders.
  • Now, after much delay, the controversial survey will be sent to a random selection of students starting today.
  • According to the Journal Sentinel, the survey asks students to "consider viewpoints they disagree with on a range of topics, such as abortion, Covid-19 vaccines, racial inequality, sexual assault and transgender issues."

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🍎 The race for school board is on.

  • Nicki Vander Meulen announced she will run for a third term on the Madison School Board next spring.
  • Vander Meulen was first elected in 2017, and according to the Cap Times, is the longest-tenured school board member.
  • The bigger picture: There are two school board seats up for election next spring — Vander Meulen’s and Christina Gomez Schmidt's. The election is April 4, with a primary Feb. 21 if needed.
Image via Wisconsin DNR

🐺 The DNR's long-awaited wolf management plan is here.

  • Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released the first draft of a new Wolf Management Plan.
  • A quick f history lesson: The first Wolf Management Plan was implemented in 1999 and updated in 2007. It set a population goal of 350 wolves. For context, there were roughly 250 wolves in the state at the time. These days, there are roughly 1,000 wolves in Wisconsin.  
  • What's new: The 1999 plan has long been criticized by tribes and conservationist groups for not being rooted in science. The updated plan shifts away from a statewide wolf population goal and toward local management within the state’s six wolf hunting zones. The new plan makes no reference to a numerical population target.
  • The response: So far, conservation and environmental groups have supported the new draft plan. According to WPR, some Republican lawmakers and hunting groups have criticized the DNR for releasing the plan two days after the election.

🤹‍♀️ Your lunchtime read: A truly remarkable run: Madison comedy-juggler Loon to perform his last show.

  • Via Wisconsin State Journal: "First question answered: Yes, it’s his real name.

    Truly Remarkable Loon was born, raised and built a career in Madison by creating one of its most popular and high-profile comedy juggling acts. And in a city rich with talented jugglers, that’s saying a lot.

    But the local diabolo flipper and flaming-torch tosser will soon be putting away his slingshot monkeys, juggling balls and pins. His final shows, he says, will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, as part of the free Kids in the Rotunda series at the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St."
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